Bridget McLaughlin's South Africa Experience

Bridget McLaughlin's South Africa Experience

Senior Bridget McLaughlin '20 of the women's basketball team spent the summer in South Africa and writes about her experience from Cape Town, a city in the western part of the country that is near the Cape of Good Hope. Here is her experience.

By Bridget McLaughlin '20

This summer I spent two months in Cape Town, South Africa. I wanted to get an internship in a field I am interested in and I wanted to travel this summer so I decided to combine the two and get an internship abroad. My major is Business Management and I am Minoring in Economics, Marketing, and International Business. I decided to get an internship in event management and marketing. I worked for The Scary Canary, a live music bar on popular Long Street in Cape Town. I met with artists and performers, set up events, ran events, and advertised and marketed for events. Every day I would check inventory, check cash ups, and open the bar. I would create posters or social media posts for upcoming events. When artists or bands contacted the bar to set up an event they would be sent to me. I would meet with them, discuss a date, time, and what they needed in terms of set up, entry fees, and payments for the performance. On the night of these events I would be there helping the performer set up, I would run the bar, and make sure everything would run smoothly, and then assist with take down of the event and closing of the bar. It was a small bar so I got to experience every aspect of the business. My job was a good start and experience in the hospitality industry, which I could see a future career path in.

Along with my internship I got to travel and experience Cape Town. I lived in an apartment building with other people studying or interning abroad. Some people were from places like the Netherlands, France, Uganda, Germany, Belgium, and more. I became super close to all of my roommates and we would take trips together and explore South Africa. I hiked Table Mountain, an iconic landmark in South Africa, the views from the top overlook the city. I went to Boulder Beach, which is a beach where you can interact with penguins. I went shark cage diving, it was winter time in South Africa, so the water was freezing, but it was worth it. I went surfing for the first time in my life at Muizenberg Beach, which is the main surfing spot in Cape Town. I went on a safari at a game reserve and saw elephants, cheetahs, lions, and rhinos. I then got to walk with elephants and feed them at an elephant sanctuary and I got to pet a cheetah at a wildlife reserve. I made some amazing memories and had some of the most amazing experiences those two months. I made some lifelong friends while in South Africa, I hope one day to go back and visit them and visit my roommates in their home countries. Overall, it was an incredible learning experience, I gained more independence, learned a lot about myself, made great memories, and gained some best friends.